The Difference between Dating and Courtship

By Providence

If you are someone who is exploring the love and relationships world, then it’s very important that you know what you are getting into and to know the different types of relationships there is, so that you won’t fall victim to heartbreaks or disappointments. It is very important that you know the differences between these two terms; dating and courtship.
According to the English dictionary, dating is defined as a form of romantic courtship between two individuals with the aim of assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. It goes on to explain that dating may at any time lead to friendship, any level of intimacy, marriage or no relation at all. Courtship on the other hand, is defined as the act of wooing in love, solicitation of a woman into marriage.

In this day and time we are in, dating has become the norm as opposed to courtship which our parents and forefathers used to practice. It is no secret that courtship worked out well for them as their relationships were stronger and lasted for a long time. Unfortunately the dating method nowadays has only been effective to just a few and devastation to many.

To help you through it and make sure that you are enlightened enough, I will further explain the differences between dating and courtship. Dating is a more casual way to seeking a life partner and courtship is a more direct approach to seeking the affections of someone you would like to marry. As opposed to dating where one has freedom to have many partners at one time, make comparisons and then choose their best option from the lot. Good thing about dating is that one gets to make comparisons between many people and is not tied to only one person whom they are supposed to learn and then marry. Another advantage is that it can be considered as friendship with a purpose because a person may hop along from one person to another, but eventually they will get there. However, during this process also comes along disadvantages such as heartbreaks, disappointments, being used and sometimes unwanted pregnancies as mentioned before that dating involves sexual intimacy. And because the people involved were not in a committed relationship they end up breaking up despite the pregnancy. If it had been courtship then getting married after such consequences would not be a problem because marriage would have been the goal from the start.

Courtship involves relatives and commitment is the basis of the relationship. Everything in the relationship is intentional and pointed towards marriage. Commitment in this context means considering to marry, or a pledge of allegiance and loyalty. This aligns with courtship but in dating, allegiance and loyalty are not really the order of the day as a person may hop along from one person to another within a short space of time ,all in the name of searching for the right one. The purpose of dating is usually to explore one’s curiosities or interests, dating for fun or dating with a purpose, which is searching for the right partner who they would marry. The outcome of a dating relationship all depends on the values of the couple involved.

In a dating relationship, physical intimacy precedes commitment. Sometimes the relationship is only considered serious when the two have become sexually involved. In courtship the relationship is strengthened by the commitment to honour God with their bodies and abstain from physical intimacy until marriage.

This article is not aimed at looking down upon whatever choice that one makes or has made. Rather it is to enlighten you on the pros and cons of these different types of relationships so that you can make the right choices, and are prepared for the consequences and that you enter them knowing fully that it is your preference and choice. Never settle in the wrong relationship thinking that you are courting and never settle with a serious committed person thinking that it’s dating for fun. This always leads to devastating results and many people have been left broken due to these ignorances. Whether you court or date remember to do so to the Glory of God.